Last year at this time, all of us at River City Food Bank felt as if the sky was falling.
The long lines and resulting empty shelves were a bit scary. The first time it happened, it seemed like a fluke. But the next day was the same and the day after that was a repeat.
The food was literally flying off the shelves and we could not keep up the pace. The volunteers were exhausted and worked their shifts without a break. As soon as the line started to diminish, five more families would arrive. It seemed like a food delivery that once lasted two weeks only lasted a week at best. When the lines of people started to form early in the morning, our anxiety level would build and we felt the fear of being caught short. We couldn’t wrap our heads around the constant need.
We are no longer surprised by the lines throughout the month. But it still makes us sad that so many people are in need.
We buy more food, schedule more deliveries, bring in more volunteers, and look for more creative ways to stretch our dollars and find healthy foods. The last thing we want to do is compromise the nutrition and quality of the food we bring to families.
There is no question that we are serving more families than we did last year and we expect this holiday season to be a record breaker. But at least we are not surprised.
– Eileen Thomas, executive director